News-Antique.com - Oct 16,2012 - Lambertville, NJ: On Saturday, November 17, 2012, Rago Arts and Auction Center will offer important works from one of the most distinguished collections of 20th century art, the Lydia Winston Malbin Collection. Acquired largely in the 1940s through the 1950s, these works have been held by her daughter since a large portion of the collection was auctioned for over $74 million dollars in May of 1990, shortly after Mrs. Malbin’s death in the fall of 1989.
Property offered for sale includes multiple works by Jean Arp. Most notable are a relief “Composition” sculpture ca. 1954 (originally purchased from Rose Fried Gallery in 1956) and Arp’s well known bronze Ganymède from 1954. Works on paper by Arp include two “Abstract Forms” from 1922 that were originally part of the Tristan Tzara collection. Another major work on paper is “Study for Mirage A” by Josef Albers, painted in 1940 as a study for a larger work and was purchased by Ms. Malbin from Rose Fried in 1946. The collection also features many works by well-known Italian Futurists including “Romance”, a 1959 oil by Piero Dorazio, as well as two sculptures by the artist. There are also two works by Pietro Consagra and a wonderful and large example of Mario Deluigi’s work. This 1953-54 work in grayish blues and yellows is a superb example of his work from this period. There are several notable sculptures in the collection including “L’Oiseau De Fer”, an iron sculpture of a bird from 1957 by César (Baldacchini), originally purchased from the artist in 1960. There’s also a remarkable construction by Victor Vasarely. “Ixion” from 1964 is comprised of two oil paintings on glass that are set three inches apart in a metal base. The optical effect is quintessential Vasarely. Other artists in the collection are Frans Krajcberg, Etienne Hajdu and Gerrit Benner.
In addition to the Lydia Winston Malbin Collection, Rago’s is pleased to offer its first collection of Russian art. It includes two still lifes by Ivan Puni and two cubist masterpieces by Nedezhda Udaltsova. Other important artists include Vasily Shukhayev, Ivan Klyun, Alexander Evgenievich Yakovlev, Alexander Aleksandrovich Osmerkin, Robert Falk and Ilya Mashkov. There are also two exceptional abstract compositions by Alexander Exter and Alexander Rodchenko as well as an abstracted view of a city also by Exter. Notable portraits from the collection include Mikhail Fedorovich Larionov’s “Self-Portrait” as well as his “Portrait of Goncharova”.
Rago’s first session of 19th/20th C. American and European Art includes a superb grouping of four bronzes by Degas, among them the well-known works “L'ecoliere”, estimated at $25,000-35,000; “Femme se lavant la jambe gauche”, estimated at $12,000-18,000; “Danseuse s'avançant, les bras levés, la jambe droite en avant”, estimated at $30,000-50,000; and a bronze relief entitled “Cueillette des pommes”, estimated at $20,000-30,000. Another outstanding lot is a very early painting by Balthus entitled “Levrier, ca. 1925”. The Bucks County Impressionists are well represented with important paintings by John Folinsbee, Robert Spencer and Fern Coppedge.